How to Obtain an ITIN number

How to Obtain an ITIN Number

While living in the U.S offers numerous perks, it also brings certain responsibilities to both the U.S nationals and others. One such responsibility is to pay the taxes to the U.S government. For this purpose, all people living in the U.S have to file tax returns for which they either need a Social Security Number or an ITIN (Individual Tax Payer Identification Number).

If you are living in the U.S and need to file tax return, you should have one of these numbers so that the Internal Revenue Service could process your tax returns. If you have a social security number than you do not need to worry about how to obtain an ITIN number but if you are not entitled to have a social security number, read this blog to know how to obtain an ITIN number.

If you need help getting an ITIN number, or any other Tax Id number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com

What is an ITIN?

ITIN or Individual Taxpayer Identification number is one that is issued by the Internal Revenue Service to all those people who are entitled to pay the taxes to the U.S government but neither has a Social Security Number nor eligible to get it according to the regulations of Social Security Administration. Dependents of all such residents and non-resident aliens also need to get an ITIN number.

The pattern of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is similar to that of Social Security Number. It consists of 9 digits and always starts with the number 9 and always has numbers from 70 to 99 (except 89 and 93) in the 4th and the 5th place. Previously, the 4th and 5th digit used to be from the range of 70 to 88 but it was increased after some changes were implemented from 12th of April 2011.

What is an ITIN used for?

Before knowing how to obtain an ITIN number, you must know what an ITIN is used for so that you do not have any confusion about it.

An ITIN serves as the identification number of all U.S resident and non-resident aliens, who are not eligible to get a Social Security Number, to file their tax returns, for claiming the status of a dependent and/ or to get a refund of the income withheld by the Internal Revenue Service.

It is only used for tax processing and do not serve any purpose outside the tax system. However, in the absence of the social security number, it may be used to apply for mortgage loans and for opening a bank account.

Who issues ITINs?

ITINs or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a governmental agency of the U.S. responsible to implement taxation laws and for collecting taxes.

Can you have both the ITIN and SSN?

No, according to the U.S.’ laws you can either have a social security number or the Individual taxpayer identification number. You can have both at the same time.

Does ITIN allow you to work?

If the U.S.’ laws does not allow you to work, for any reasons, the restriction will not be ended if you get an ITIN.

Will you receive Social Security Benefits or claim Earned Income Tax Credit with ITIN?

No, acquiring an ITIN does not mean that you will receive the social security benefits or you can claim for Earned Income Tax Credit. It only serves as your identification number for tax purposes and is issued to make sure you follow the U.S.’ tax rules.

Who needs an ITIN?

Before knowing how to obtain an ITIN number, you should know whether you need an ITIN or not.

All foreign nationals, U.S. resident and non- resident, and their spouses and dependents that are required to report or file federal taxes/ tax returns or claim the status of spouse/ dependent need an identification number. If they do not have a social security number and are not even eligible to apply for that, they need an ITIN number hence; they should know how to obtain an ITIN number.

Also, those who need to file a tax return in order to claim refund of taxes from the IRS need an individual taxpayer identification number as well.

Dependents and spouses of both U.S. resident and non-resident aliens also need an ITIN to file joint taxes. Therefore, all those spouses and dependents having H4 visa, F2 visa or the L2 visa should learn how to obtain an ITIN number and apply for it as soon as possible.

Those who do not have a social security number and they are not even eligible to receive it but, have tax filing requirements should know how to obtain an ITIN number to avoid any problems. Such people can obtain an ITIN number regardless of their country of origin or status of their immigration.

If you have a social security number or have applied for it then, you do not need an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN).

In short, all those people who are not U.S. citizens but earning money there should know how to obtain an ITIN number for themselves, their spouses and dependents.

If you need help getting an ITIN number, or any other Tax Id number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com

When should you apply for ITIN?

You should learn how to obtain an ITIN number and apply for it as soon as you learn that you need it and are ready to file income tax returns because you need to attach the federal income tax return with your ITIN application.

Application for getting an ITIN can be send any time during the year but, make sure that the tax return that you are going to attach with the ITIN application was filed before its due date. If you attach an income tax return, with the ITIN application, which was filed after the due date, you may need to pay interest and /or penalty.

This is not needed if you meet any of the exceptions and hence; are not required to file a tax return. In this case, apply for getting an ITIN number, with documents to prove your exemption, as soon as you learn that you are exempted from filing tax returns.

How to Obtain an ITIN Number?

To apply for an ITIN, fill the latest revised version of Form W-7 and attach all the required documents that are:

  • Valid federal income tax return
  • Proofs of exception, if you qualify for one
  • Original documents that prove your identity and foreign status
  • If you are submitting copies of the identification documents, make sure they are certified by the issuing agency or by the officers of U.S. embassies and consulates

What is Form W-7?

If you want to know how to obtain an ITIN number, you must know what a form W-7 is.

A W-7 form is one that is used by all U.S. resident and non-resident aliens, their spouses and dependents to apply for getting an ITIN number for taxation purposes.

Information you need to provide in the Form W-7?

Internal Revenue Service asks for the following information in the W-7 form:

  • Reasons for which you need an ITIN number
  • Your complete name, current address and foreign address (if applicable)
  • Your Country of citizenship
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Birth
  • S. visa number (if applicable)
  • Foreign tax identification number (if applicable)
  • Documents to prove your identity and foreign status (original or certified)

Documents accepted by the IRS as proof of identity and foreign status

In order to learn how to obtain an ITIN number and about the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, you need to know the recent revision with regard to the documents, accepted by the IRS as proof of your identity and foreign status, attached with the W-7 form.

The IRS has recently revised the list of accepted documents as proofs for your foreign status and identity after which it now only accepts an original valid passport as the proof.

Those who do not have the original valid passport can provide two or more of the following recent documents to prove their identity and foreign status:

  • National Identity Card which must have your name, date of birth, photograph, current address and expiry date.
  • Your Birth Certificate
  • Foreign Driver’s license
  • S. Driver’s license
  • S. identification card
  • S. military identification card
  • Visa
  • Photograph ID provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Foreign voter’s registration card
  • Medical Records (for dependents under 6 years)
  • Recent School Records ( for dependents and students, not older than 12 months)

The documents that you provide to the IRS for getting an ITIN should be valid and must have your name, date of expiration and should prove your foreign identity. One of the documents must have your photograph. However, the documents provided for dependents less than 14 years of age (less than 18 years in case he/ she is a student) need not to have a photograph.

How to obtain an ITIN number for spouse and/ or dependents?

Following are some of the helpful tips that will tell you how to obtain an ITIN number for your spouse or dependents:

  • You should submit documents to prove that your spouse and/ or dependent is either a United States’ national or residing in the U.S., Mexico or Canada.
  • If your dependent is a minor than the documents, attached with the ITIN application, should be confirming the relationship between the dependent and the person applying on dependent’s behalf. The documents may include the birth certificate, legal guardianship papers which have been issued by the court or the adoption paper.
  • If you are not living in the United States and have adopted a foreign child or the adoption process is going on then you should also seek information on how to obtain an ITIN number for the child as well.

If you need help getting an ITIN number, or any other Tax Id number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com

Different ways to apply for an ITIN

Knowing about different ways to apply for an ITIN is an important part of knowing how to obtain an ITIN number. Following are the three different ways to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN):

  1. 1. In Person

You can submit a complete W-7 form along with the valid original or certified supporting documents, in person, to any of the U.S.’ Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Assistance Centers.

  1. By Mail

Completely filled formW-7, your federal income tax return and the supporting documents (to prove your identity and foreign status) can be mailed to:

Internal Revenue Service

Austin Service Center

ITIN Operation

P.O. Box 149342

Austin, TX 78714-9342

  1. Through an Acceptance Agent

If you do not know how to obtain an ITIN number, the best way to apply is through an acceptance agent, who is certified by the Internal Revenue Service.

An acceptance agent, which can be an individual or an organization, will not only tell you how to obtain an ITIN number but will also assist you in the application process and will make sure that you receive your ITIN without any problem. An Acceptance agent will:

  • Reviewing your form W-7
  • Reviewing the supporting documents
  • Completing an accuracy certificate
  • Sending the completely filled form along with all the required documents to the Internal Revenue Service
  • Some Acceptance agents work on appointment basis whereas others accept walk-in clients as well so; do confirm before you visit an acceptance agent.

Why ITIN application process has been revised?

Are you looking for information about how to obtain an ITIN number and got to know that IRS has revised the application process for ITIN? Has it stressed you out? Relax; there is nothing to worry about.

Internal Revenue Service has recently revised the application process for getting an ITIN just to make sure that the Individual Taxpayer Identification number is used for its original and intended purpose only i.e. for tax reporting and processing.

How long does IRS take to issue an ITIN?

For all those who are seeking advice on how to obtain an ITIN number, the most important thing that they need to keep in mind is the time that IRS takes to issue an ITIN.

If you are eligible to receive an ITIN and have submitted the completely filled W-7 form with all the required documents then it may take from 2 to 4 weeks to Internal Revenue Service to process your application and to issue you an ITIN.

Is ITIN card similar to the SSN card?

If you know how to obtain an ITIN number and have applied successfully but do not know whether you should expect a card similar to the SSN card or something different then let us tell you that IRS no more provide a card for the ITIN.

Although previously IRS used to provide a card, similar to the SSN card, for the ITIN but now it is going to issue an ‘authorization letter’ instead. This measure has been taken to avoid any confusion of the SSN card. This will be implemented to all the new applications however; those who already have ITIN cards will continue to have it.

What to do if you do not get ITIN after six weeks?

If you are sure that you knew how to obtain an ITIN number and had followed all the instructions provided by the IRS to fill the form and had attached all the required documents while applying for ITIN but still have not received your ITIN six weeks after applying then you should call the Internal Revenue Service and ask the status of your application

Bonus Tips

Here are some bonus tips for those who are gathering information on how to obtain an ITIN number:

  • If you have submitted or planning to submit your original documents, you do not need to worry because IRS will return your documents. But if you do not receive your documents back in 60 days then you can call Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s helpline
  • Try and avoid sending original documents if there is an option of sending the copies
  • Make sure you send the form (along with the supported documents) through an insured mail service so that you receive a receipt.
  • Do make a copy of your completed form and keep it with you

This blog must have answered all your questions regarding how to obtain an ITIN number. But if you have more queries regarding your case, you can always call Internal Revenue Service at their toll free number 1-800-829-1040.

If you need help getting an ITIN number, or any other Tax Id number please call us at 407-344-1012, or email us at info@freedomtaxfl.com

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